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Article by Adam White
A conference call is easy to run and with these few simple tips your next call will be a huge success.
A conference call is as the name suggests having multiple people on one phone call. The conference call can be designed to allow all the participants to speak, or it may be designed so that certain participants can only listen and not speak.
Conference calls can be set up so that the initial participant calls the other participants and adds them to the call. Or in other cases, the participants are able call into a central number for the conference call themselves.
If it is your job to organise a conference call, there are several things you need to know.
If the conference call is just for three people, the easiest way is to use your phone’s flash button. This allows you to dial one person, put them on hold, dial the second person and then have a three-way conversation. Using this type of system is great of impromptu calls.
However, if you need several people or maybe even hundreds on a call it is easiest to use a conference calling service. These services allow you to co-ordinate a conference call for free but charges will occur for long distance calls.
Most of them also provide paid services where they charge a fee per minute per caller which may prove a cheaper option.
For a successful conference call it might be prudent to distribute an agenda to all participants prior to the call. This will ensure the meeting does not get side tracked. Regardless of whether you are the instigator of the conference call or an attendee – dial in on time. It is just manners to arrive at a meeting on time and so for a telephone meeting. Further to this, if you are the leader, then ensure you start on time.
When you enter the conference call it is customary to announce that you have joined.To use the mute button or not? This comes down to the discretion of the organizer. If the speaker does not want interruptions, will only answer questions at the end or if the conference is being recorded, then it might be best for everyone to be muted. But if the speaker requires constant feedback, then you better un-mute.
Remember to say your name before you make a comment, especially if you are on a call with people you don’t know well.
It is easy to be distracted on a conference call. If you are at an actual conference, you are pretty much forced to sit and listen however on the phone it is easy to drift off. So one way to remain focused is to take notes. However, if like me, you like to doodle be ware that this can be a distraction.
A conference call should flow easily, however due to a lack of body language it is hard to know at times when it is your turn to speak. So don’t be afraid to speak up.As the initiator of the conference call, you should end the call by summarizing what was covered and mentioning the next call, if there is one. Also consider sending everyone an email to summarize what was discussed.
Follow these simple ideas and your next conference call is bound to be a success.As technology continues to develop, who knows where conference calling will end up. In today’s market if your company has not examined the possibilities of using VoIP phones, then now might be a good time. The cost saving capabilities of VoIP alone, make it well worth the effort.
With You in TechnologyAdam White
About the Author
For more technology information on free internet phones and VoIP telephones read Adam’s articles at discover-voip.info.
Get the Best From Meeting Room Setup
Depending on the type of meeting you are holding, the way the room is set up can be changed. For example, a room set up in banquet style may hold up to 300 people for a standing reception but only 120 people classroom style.
It is therefore important to know your room setup needs before the event takes place so you can have everything organised in plenty of time.
The style of room setup depends on the purpose of the meeting. Meetings designed to encourage group interaction would be arranged differently to a traditional seminar where participants are listening to a specific speaker, or speakers.
Theatre or auditorium style is a popular arrangement where rows of chairs are simply placed behind each other, as you would find in a cinema. Participants are seated in rows of chairs without a table or desk so interaction is minimal.
Classroom style is better suited to meetings where note taking is required. Tables and chairs are placed in a row behind each other, all pointing towards the front of the room and similar to a traditional school classroom.
The desks may be individual or joined together but whatever the arrangement, there should be plenty of room for each individual to sit comfortably and take any necessary notes.
Conference / Boardroom style setup tends to be one large square or rectangle that will seat up to about 30 people around the edges. This style is not usually conducive to larger groups as not everyone can be heard but works well with smaller meetings.
Cabaret setup is perfect if group interaction is needed. This meeting room style seats participants in groups within the meeting-room. Each group can be designated as a team or can be from a specific department and this arrangement is popular for all sorts of group sessions.
Reception style room setup is generally more common for cocktail and canapé receptions. There are generally a few tables with chairs for those who want to sit down, but this style of room set up is geared towards a standing reception and you can thus fit more people into the room.
When making arrangements for a business meeting, remember to take care of any technical requirements. You may need a microphone for the speaker so audience questions can be asked.
A LCD Projector is generally used for PowerPoint presentations and many meeting rooms will also have inbuilt or free standing projector screens.
A podium may be required by the speaker and a lectern is handy for the speakers notes.
Daniel Collins writes on a number of topics on behalf of a digital marketing agency and a variety of clients. As such, this article is to be considered a professional piece with business interests in mind.
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